Vamana is one of the five therapies of Ayurvedic Panchakarma. Vamana refers to therapeutic vomiting which is done through medicated emesis. Vamana therapy means that to induce a controlled vomiting in you. Controlled vomiting means – it is planned, it is induced and vomiting is expected to run for a definite amount of time and then it is planned to stop.
Vamana treatment is targeted to expel increased Kapha Dosha out of the body. When Kapha dosha gets increased, it causes certain types of diseases – such as cold, cough etc.
If the extent of Kapha increase is less, then some oral medicines can be given to suppress it. But if it has increased to a large extent and if it has moved from its natural place to other places, then it needs to be expelled out of the body. By expelling it out, the disease gets cured, often completely. Since Kapha is situated in the chest region, expelling it from the oral route is very easy. Hence, Vamana treatment is designed. To expel it out, first the Kapha Dosha needs to be forcefully brought from the extremities and different organs into the stomach, and then vomiting is induced.
The therapy is carried out in 3 steps –
▪︎ Purva karma
▪︎ Pradhan karma
▪︎ Paschat karma
▪︎ Purva karma or preparation of the patient before pradhan karma includes-
• Use of digestives and appetizers (deepana and pachana) – it increases jatharagni (digestive power) and brings lightness in the body. Herbs used are agnitundi vati, chitrakadi vati, trikatu churna etc.
• Internal oleation – medicated or non medicated ghee is administered for 3 to 7 days depending upon the requirement of the patient, till the doctor observes the proper sign and symptoms of snehana.
• Abhyanga (external oleation) and swedana – after performing internal oleation the patient undergoes massage with herbal oil followed by swedana of the whole body.
Along with these there is a proper diet regime that must be followed. Usually it is advised to take good amount of liquid and warm food that is easily digestible. Just before the day of vanana, heavy diet such as plenty of milk, curd etc is recommended.
On the day before Vamana
Kapha Dosha is excited in the patient by administering drink / thin gruel prepared from fish, black gram, Sesame etc. added with little quantity of fats, in morning.
▪︎ Pradhan Karma
• The patient is made sure that he has slept well the previous night.
• Patient is made sure that his previous food is well digested
• The patient is made to take hot water bath.
• He is either maintained on empty stomach or a little quantity of ghee is given.
Determining the nature the nature of his bowels (Intestines – Koshta), the emetic drug is administered.
The physician should administer a dose of the decoction (Kashaya) of the fruit of Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum). Along with Honey, Rock salt, Phanita ( a preparation of Sugar cane juice) and the powder of Madhuka (Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra)
After consuming the medicine, he should await for one Muhurta – 48 minutes for the commencement of vomiting, with keen intent.
With the appearance of oppression in the chest and salivation he should try to vomit.
Patient is instructed not to exert too much, but allow the vomiting urge to be fully manifested.
If the bouts are not coming up easily, he should tickle his throat either with his fingers or a soft tube without injuring the throat,
Sitting on a seat of the height of one knee, the bouts of vomiting should be held supported by another person.
His umbilical region and back should be massaged in upward direction.
The physician should very carefully observe the vomit in the spittoon, ascertain the number of urges and should conclude therapy as to whether the therapy has been well administered, inadequately administered or administered in excess. It is from this observation that the physician can determine the further line of action. So he should very carefully observe the vomiting urges.
If bouts are insufficient, they should be induced again and again by drinking water boiled with long pepper,Amla, mustard and rock salt.
Number of bouts
• Heenayoga – Minimum bouts – 4 bouts
• Madhyama vega – Moderate – 6 bouts
• Atiyoga – Maximum bouts – 8 bouts
Vomiting should be allowed till the appearance- coming out of Pitta. This is appreciated by expulsion of bile or yellow sticky material, at the end. Coming out of Pitta indicates complete expulsion of Kapha Dosha.
▪︎ Paschat Karma –
The patient is under observation till he/she achieve the strength. It is advised to avoid loud sound, noise, excessive walk or exercise, exposure to excessive cold, heat etc. Along with it special diet is followed.
Diet regimen after vamana treatment is also called as Samsarjana Krama. Soon after emesis, the digestive capacity of the patient is very low. Hence, all of a sudden regular diet cannot be introduced. Instead, liquid diet should be started and gradually turning to solids.
In the same evening or the next day after Vamana, patient should take bath in lukewarm water.
• He should be given like – warm gruel (Manda) prepared with well cooked old rice. The gruel should be very thin. This is to be given with due regard to the power of digestion, for three meal-times.
• For the fourth meal- time, gruel prepared with rice (Vilepi), well-cooked, warm and devoid of oil / ghee and salt altogether or with oil / ghee and salt in small quantity is to be given. Warm water is to be taken after the intake of gruel.
• The same type of diet is to be continued for the fifth and sixth meal-times.
• For the seventh meal-time again, well-cooked porridge (odana) prepared with the same type of rice of two Prasruta along with a very thin green gram soup (Mudga yusha), added with oil / ghee and salt in small quantity is to be given. Warm water should be taken after the intake of the porridge.
• The same diet is to be repeated for the eight and ninth meal-times. For the tenth meal-time, thin meat-soup (Mamsarasa) prepared with water and salt should be given. Warm water is to be taken after this.
• This is again to be repeated for the eleventh and twelfth meal times. Thereafter, the patient should take food having different tastes and he should start taking his normal diet from the seventh night.
Signs of Proper Vamana
• Manifestation of the vomiting urges in time
• Absence of too much pain
• Elimination of Doshas in proper order. Kapha, Pitta and vata coming out in successive order, without any hindrance,
• The urge for vomiting will recede on its own, after the Doshas are properly eliminated.
• Calmness of the mind and cessation of vomit bouts on its own,
• Absence of features of inadequate bouts and
• Feeling of not too much of discomfort are the features of samyakyoga- proper bout.
• Vitiated and aggressive Kapha dosha is expelled out of the body, leading to cure of disease.
• The digestion and metabolism power gets enhanced.
• Normal health is restored.
• The sense organs, mind, intelligence, and complexion become clear and gain strength.
• The person gains strength, nourishment and immunity,
• It improves the chances of fertility, virility and sexual power.
• It helps to slow down aging process.
• One can live healthily for long time.
The following complications arise out of over administration or inadequate administration of the therapy –
• Distension of abdomen
• Sawing type of pain
• Blood vomiting
• Displacement of viscera of the body
This treatment is not advised for –
• Children under the age of 12
• People above the age of 65
• During menstruation
• Sensitive and delicate people with great fear
• Anguish or anxiety
• Bleeding from upper part of the body
• Heart disease
• Pain in the eye or ear
• Lesions of urinary tract
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